Parenting Agreements in Ontario – What You Need to Know

Parenting agreements are legal documents that outline the custody, access, and support arrangements for children of separated or divorced parents. In Ontario, parenting agreements are governed by the Family Law Act and are enforceable by law.

Whether you are going through a separation or divorce, or you are looking to establish a parenting agreement with your co-parent, it’s important to understand the key elements of a parenting agreement and how they can affect your family’s future.

Custody Arrangements

Custody refers to who has the legal authority and responsibility for making major decisions for the child. These decisions may include where the child will live, where they will go to school, their medical care, and their religious upbringing.

In Ontario, there are two types of custody arrangements: joint custody and sole custody. Joint custody means both parents have equal decision-making authority, while sole custody means one parent has the ultimate decision-making authority. It’s essential to define the type of custody agreement in your parenting plan.

Access Arrangements

Access refers to the schedule and arrangements for the child to spend time with each parent. Access arrangements are crucial for children’s well-being, and it’s essential to establish a predictable and consistent routine for the child.

There are several types of access arrangements, including shared custody, split custody, and primary residence. Shared custody means each parent spends an equal amount of time with the child, while split custody means each parent has custody of one or more of the children. Primary residence means the child primarily lives with one parent and spends scheduled time with the other.

Support Arrangements

Child support is a financial obligation that one parent pays to the other to support the child’s needs. In Ontario, child support is based on the Child Support Guidelines and depends on the parents’ income and the number of children.

It’s crucial to establish a clear support arrangement in your parenting agreement to ensure the child’s needs are met. The support arrangement should include the amount and frequency of child support payments, as well as any additional expenses such as childcare, medical, or education costs.

Legal Assistance

Parenting agreements can be complex and emotional, and it’s essential to work with a family law lawyer experienced in parenting agreements. A lawyer can help you negotiate fair and reasonable terms, prepare the necessary legal documents, and ensure the parenting agreement reflects your child’s best interests.

Conclusion

Parenting agreements are critical documents that outline the custody, access, and support arrangements for children of separated or divorced parents. In Ontario, parenting agreements are governed by the Family Law Act and are enforceable by law.

If you are going through a separation or divorce or are looking to establish a parenting agreement, it’s important to understand the key elements of a parenting agreement and how they can affect your family’s future. Working with an experienced family law lawyer can ensure you negotiate fair and reasonable terms that reflect your child’s best interests.